A rare giant squid has been caught by fishermen off the coast of Japan.

Measuring 11 feet in length, the creature was hauled from its home in waters deep off the coast of the Tottori Prefecture during a trawl for crabs and flatfish.

It was alive when the fishermen brought it on board the boat but died before reaching the mid-west coast of Japan, this week.

The squid's length was drastically shortened by the absence of its two longest tentacles, which would have made its length around 26 feet had they been attached.

Local expert Toshifumi Wada said it was significant the squid had been caught at a depth of around 800 feet.

The creatures – which are among the largest invertebrates in the world and have the biggest eyes in the whole animal kingdom, usually live at depths of no less than 1,000 feet. Wada told NTV: "This shows that the squid was swimming at that depth, so I think this is significant."

AP reported there are plans for the squid to be preserved for research purposes.

Earlier this month, a fisherman in the Niigata Prefecture caught another giant squid and filmed its capture – the first time a catch was caught on video. Fisherman Shigenori Goto expressed regret afterwards about not treating the 360lb creature with more respect.